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    Wineries in South Tyrol

    There are more than 200 wineries in South Tyrol where tasting, purchasing and discovering everything about outstanding South Tyrolean wine is on the agenda. Some are smaller operations that grow only one type of grape as well as cooperatively managed, larger wineries. In South Tyrol, wine and architecture are issues which are becoming increasingly interrelated. For example, many wineries are architecturally magnificent constructions that have been carefully integrated into the rural landscape. Details about South Tyrol’s many wineries, including opening times, bars and wine tastings, are available here.

    Results
    Wineries
    Partaneshof
    Tirol/Tirolo, Meran/Merano and environs
    Winegrower, wine connoisseur, wine drinker: what Matthäus Ladurner’s great passion might be can be guessed without a great amount of difficulty just from this list alone. And he can live it out at the Partaneshof estate winery in Merano, an historical estate winery in the health resort city to which a bed and breakfast hotel also belongs.

    Merano was once regarded as the southern balcony of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and its particular climate has turned the city into a health resort that is renowned and popular throughout all of Europe. And more than just that: a lot of sunshine, very little precipitation, mild temperatures, and good air circulation are also optimal for winegrowing, which also emphasizes the century-old wine tradition at the Partaneshof estate winery in Merano. A tradition which proprietor Matthäus Ladurner continues to cultivate today with passion.

    So it is not only organic fruit that grows in the orchards around the Partaneshof, but also the basis for top-quality wines. “We make a comparatively broad palette of varietals, ranging from Lagrein and Pinot Noir to Chardonnay, Schiava, and Cabernet all the way to Shiraz,” Ladurner explained.

    And it is specifically from the indigenous Schiava grapes that an extraordinary wine is made at the Partaneshof in Merano. “With the ‘Merano Küchelberg’, we produce the typical light Merano Schiava variant,” explains the winegrower, who also has a second favorite in his assortment on offer. “Chardonnay is one of our preferred Alto Adige wines: a fruity, noble white wine that goes with all occasions.”
    Wineries
    Happacherhof
    Auer/Ora, The South Tyrolean Wine Road
    So when in Alto Adige, do like the locals! In the vineyards of the Happacherhof in Ora, the students of the Agricultural High School learn how a vineyard is managed and how the grapes that are obtained are turned into wine. Really good wine.

    The Happacherhof Estate Winery thus stands out and represents something special in the landscape of Alto Adige winegrowing. It is managed not by a committed winegrowing family, but rather by just as committed teachers and their students who can learn the techniques of winemaking right from the very bottom up.

    In order to make it possible for the students to have the broadest possible and also most detailed view of winegrowing, different varieties were planted on the approximately four hectares that belong to the Happacherhof (as well as those in the immediate vicinity), specifically with different trellis systems and according to different criteria. The palette of varieties comprises Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Lagrein, whereby the latter occupies a special position. It is produced along organic guidelines so that the students can also gain experience with this method of management that is becoming more and more important.

    Regardless of the variety, trellis system, or method of cultivation, the grapes that are produced at the Happacherhof are then made into wine at the school’s own winery. “The preparation of wine is an important part of the practical lessons of our students, who have decided upon winegrowing and oenology as the direction of their main focus,” explains school director Christian Gallmetzer.
    Wineries
    Mauracher S.S Agri
    Mauracher Sand in Bolzano is (literally) built on the fertile alluvial soils formed by the Talvera river where the Mauracher vines grow. In a more figurative sense, it is also built on the history of this wine-growing region as well as the wine expertise and love of experimentation of Thomas Widmann and Elisabetta Foradori.
    For decades, these two have been accumulating experience in wine growing and wine production until they set up the first Mauracher vineyard in 2003 using the autochthonous Lagrein grape variety. In 2011, they introduced the first vintage from their new project to the market: spontaneously fermented, prepared with a minimum of enological intervention, and naturally matured.
    The fact that Alexander Widmann joined the team in 2020 goes to show that Mauracher Sand is, indeed, a family project. Alexander Widmann not only brings fresh new ideas to the table but shares the same philosophy which inspired—and keeps inspiring—the two founders. At the heart of that philosophy are respect for and appreciation of nature, which is also made clear by the fact that the project was officially certified as organic in 2022.
    The young age of the Mauracher Sand project is also indicative of its scope: it yields a total of approx. 3,000 bottles of wine every year, which will include a Riserva vintage for the first time in 2024. And thus Mauracher Sand keeps growing every year thanks to its fertile foundation—both in a literal and in a figurative sense.
    Wineries
    Nicolussi Leck - Kreithof
    Kaltern an der Weinstraße/Caldaro sulla Strada del Vino, The South Tyrolean Wine Road
    The Kreithof below the ruins of Leuchtenburg Castle is the heart of the Nicolussi-Leck Estate Winery in Caldaro. The estate itself originated in the thirteenth century, but the winery, with several floors and perfectly built right into the hillside, is highly modern. At the Kreithof, the symbiosis between old and new has thus been successful.

    The Kreithof is around 800 years old, and for somewhat more than a century, it has been in the possession of the Nicolussi-Leck family which originally came from the village of Luserna in Trentino. During the First World War, they moved to Lake Caldaro, where they made use of the perfect conditions for winegrowing to build the family’s own estate winery. Today, Jakob Nicolussi-Leck and his family tend six hectares of vineyards at an elevation of 350 meters. “Our locations are extremely varied,” says Nicolussi-Leck. “We can choose from slopes facing east, south, or west for the ideal orientation for each grape variety.”

    Added to the ideal exposure are a mild climate, a constant breeze from the south, warm, loamy sandy soils, and last but not least the family’s know-how. That led in the 2010s to the decision to make wine themselves from the estate’s own grapes. To do so, a highly modern winery was integrated into the hillside – with all of the advantages that location and technology can offer. The 2017 vintage was the first one to be made into wine at the Kreithof. “The processing of the grapes takes place only with the help of gravity,” explains the winegrower at the Nicolussi-Leck Estate Winery in Caldaro. But the wine is aged not in the modern winery, but in the historical cellar of the Kreithof. The traditional and the modern: at the Nicolussi-Leck Estate Winery, they meld together into perfection.
    Wineries
    Cantina Roeno - Von Blumen
    Warm temperatures during the day, cool nights, ideal soils, and grapevines some of which are over a hundred years old: it’s no wonder that Roberta, Cristina, and Giuseppe Fugatti decided to set up the Von Blumen Wine project in Pochi above Salorno. With the Millesimo 2013, they began with the bottling of their first wines.

    The Fugattis have over twelve hectares of grape growing areas in Pochi. Their foundation is formed by limestone and porphyry soils, and the climate here in the extreme south of Alto Adige is ideal for winegrowing: during the vegetation period, average temperatures of 18 degrees C. are registered, and the cool nights give the grapes a lot of aroma. “In our wines, you can taste the terroir”, declares Giuseppe Fugatti. “The mineral-rich quality combines with a natural spiciness and thus imparts to the wine a lively and refreshing balance in flavor.”

    In addition, the special features of the various grape varieties are noticed with Von Blumen Wine, above all else the Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir, and Lagrein, but the management that is close to nature is also apparent. “The protection of the soil and the habitat is of fundamental importance for the quality of the raw materials and for the sustainable protection of the vineyards,” says the winegrower.

    In the end, it’s not just about thinking of today. Fugatti adds, “We have the task of preserving the foundations so that future generations are also provided with the gift of a whole gamut of wines which reflect the love for the region of origin as well as for the culture of the people who take care of them.”
    Wineries
    Hochklaus Winery

    Meno è meglio: con queste tre parole Klaus Schroffenegger riassume la filosofia della sua Tenuta HochKlaus a Cornedo all’Isarco, sopra Bolzano. E non stupisce, visto che Klaus non ama il superfluo. “Lascio che sia la natura a parlare per me, e considero la tenuta come un ciclo naturale autonomo, in cui voglio intervenire il meno possibile”, spiega aggiungendo: “Alla fine si deve ottenere un prodotto genuino, sincero e vivace”.

    Le fondamenta della Tenuta HochKlaus non sono state poste dall’attuale titolare, ma dai suoi genitori che vi lavorano da anni per curare e preservare le vigne. Un lavoro preliminare per il quale Klaus Schroffenegger è oggi molto riconoscente. “Prendersi cura di un vigneto richiede tempo, energia e nervi saldi”, assicura, “avere piante vecchie e sane facilita le cose”.

    Il lavoro compiuto in passato dai suoi genitori ha permesso al figlio non solo di ereditare vigne sane e forti, ma anche di conoscere approfonditamente il mondo del vino, dove l’accento è posto su “mondo”. Prima di subentrare nella gestione del vigneto di famiglia, infatti, Klaus Schroffenegger ha viaggiato, facendo esperienze in Australia, USA e Francia.

    Schroffenegger adotta la filosofia del “meno è meglio” non solo tra le vigne ma anche in cantina. Tutti i vini prodotti nella Tenuta HochKlaus fermentano spontaneamente, non contengono additivi e vengono imbottigliati non filtrati.

    Utilizzando le anfore di argilla, il giovane vignaiolo riesce inoltre a trasferire inalterato il terroir nel bicchiere. “Nella vitalità dei nostri vini si rispecchia la nostra propensione alla tipicità e all’intima connessione con la natura”, sottolinea Schroffenegger.
     
    Wineries
    Tschiedererhof
    Vahrn/Varna, Brixen/Bressanone and environs
    With an area of six hectares, the Jöchler famliy at the Tschiedererhof in Varna grows apples, grapes, and vegetables. The grapes are for the most part processed through a cooperative winery, but they make their own interesting wine from a small portion of them. And what is unusual for the Valle Isarco: they are red.

    The community of Varna lies on a south-facing glacial moraine in the Valle Isarco which is known in the wine world for its white wines. Sylvaner, Kerner, Müller-Thurgau, Gewürztraminer: they all find the best conditions here and see to it that the northernmost cultivation zone of Alto Adige has established itself on the winegrowing map.

    But at the Tschiedererhof, they swim against the stream. Located for more than 200 years on the western side of the Varna glacial moraine, the estate has been in the possession of the Jöchler family for seven generations. They take care of not only the apple plantation and vegetable beds, but also the vineyard that is located at an elevation of around 600 meters. Within that context, “take care of” does not mean “only” a lot of work. It also means having passion in winegrowing. “On our estate, we tend everything ourselves with heart and soul and offer our products for sale in our farm shop,” the family says.

    Processing their own raw materials into quality products runs through all of the agricultural areas that are covered by the Tschiedererhof in Varna. And the grapes are no exception – much to the joy of their red wine friends in the Valle Isarco. Or friends of Valle Isarco red wine.
    Wineries
    Pitsch am Bach
    Bolzano/Bozen, Bolzano/Bozen and environs
    The Pitsch am Bach Estate Winery in Bolzano lies between Santa Giustina and Santa Maddalena, and therefore right where the Santa Maddalena wine originated. And apropos of origins: the farmhouse itself dates back to the fourteenth century, and its first owner was neither a farmer nor the clergy, and not even someone from South Tyrol.

    The farm was first mentioned in a document from 1350, and specifically as the property of a banker from Florence named Boccia. Over the course of the centuries, the Italian name that was unusual for South Tyrolean tongues was gradually adapted to the local language usage until “Boccia” turned into “Pitsch”.

    Today, Paul Schweigkofler and his family are now the eighth generation to run the Pitsch am Bach Estate Winery. The 3.4 hectares of vineyards lie on slopes with a southwestern exposure at an elevation of around 300 meters on dry alluvial gravel deposits with a high degree of sand and a medium humus content. The best conditions above all else for Lagrein and Schiava from which – it goes without saying! – a classic Santa Maddalena is also made at Pitsch am Bach. In addition to that, Gewürztraminer and Yellow Muscat are also grown.

    “We take care of our vines as naturally as possible and with the vinification, as well, we pay attention to traditional techniques,” Schweigkofler adds. So it can be seen that the long history of the farmhouse, the family tradition, and the Santa Maddalena background have all deeply left their mark at Pitsch am Bach in Bolzano. And they reach all the way into the daily work.
    Wineries
    Castelatsch
    Anyone who talks about the Castelatsch wine estate in Cengles, Val Venosta, must first talk about construction. The construction business, that is. After all, the owner of the wine estate, Werner Schönthaler, has a background in construction and has been researching ecological construction materials for a decade. “It has always been our goal to find alternatives for existing construction methods, so we started producing bricks made of hemp and lime,” explains Werner Schönthaler.
    This construction material is sustainable through and through—and it was also used to build the Hof Castelatsch estate located on the slopes above Cengles. However, sustainability is not only skin-deep here: Werner Schönthaler pursues his agricultural activities with the same approach (and passion) which he already applied to his attempts to revolutionize the construction business.
    And so the values at Hof Castelatsch reflect all those buzzwords that have become more and more popular since the climate crisis: future-friendly, for example, or health and well-being. And these values are, in turn, reflected in viticulture. After all, it is very important to Schönthaler to produce his wines in harmony with nature; in other words, sustainably …
    … while following his own rules. His disinterest in conventional methods, which he already demonstrated in the construction business, also extends to wine, prompting him to tread on different paths. His grape varieties are all fungus-resistant (PIWI). His Eschkolot wine, for example, is a spontaneously fermented cuvée containing the Solaris, Muscaris, and Souvignier Gris grape varieties. And marble powder. Different paths, remember?
    Wineries
    Ansitz Mairhof - Matthias Bernhart
    Partschins/Parcines, Meran/Merano and environs
    The latest chapter (for the time being) in the history of the Ansitz Mairhof in Parcines, which is over 800 years old and carried historical preservation, began in 1930. It began with one woman and a requisite dose of courage. And it ends in a success story in the form of a family-run estate winery. Or to put it better, it has not ended by far, and the success story is still going.

    In spite of having nine smaller children, Antonia Kofler – the mother of today’s senior boss, Matthias Bernhart – bought the Ansitz Mairhof in Parcines at auction during the period between the wars. It was necessary to scrimp and save for the investment in the truest sense of the word – and only slowly did the estate get going on its own two feet: with cattle, pigs, chickens, grain, hay, and potatoes.

    In addition to the classic self-reliance goods, grapes were soon also planted at the Ansitz Mairhof, thus kindling a passion that has still not left the family to this very day. “There is a lot to do in the vineyard, spread out over the entire year,” Bernhart recounts. “But the best time comes in autumn, with the harvest.”

    But after that, the work is not done, since at the Ansitz Mairhof in Parcines, they make wine with their own grapes. “The work in the winery requires a lot of diligence, precision, and of course the love of a good glass of wine,” says Bernhart with a smile. He and his family continue to develop this recipe with these three ingredients, and a good homemade wine has turned into aromatic gourmet wines: Riesling, Schiava, and Pinot Noir.
    Wineries
    Cavit
    There are a total of eleven wineries from Trentino that find room under the roof of the Cavit consortium, which was founded in 1950. The area covered by Cavit extends over no less than 6,350 hectares of grape growing areas, of which 5,250 are managed by winegrowing families. But one thing is clear: the palette is extremely broad, but a couple of pearls nevertheless stand out – first and foremost Vino Santo and Spumante.

    There were first of all a few cooperative wineries that launched a consortium in 1950 in which forces were to be bundled together and synergies exploited. It became a model of success which additional wineries joined little by little. Today, Cavit guides winegrowing in broad sections of Trentino.

    The oenologist who takes responsibility for this is Anselmo Martini, who is especially proud of the Cavit line “Maso”: “We developed this line with the researchers at the San Michele Institute,” Martini says. “They represent our top product – genuine crus that are tied to clearly defined terroirs.”

    Cavit has over a dozen varieties in the line, and it thus reflects the entire breadth of the wine that is grown in Trentino. To be emphasized as a particularity within that context is the dessert wine Vino Santo Trentino DOC. The harvest for it takes place for the most part late in October. In addition, the Cavit consortium is renowned for its sparkling wines. The basis for this is provided by the countless grape varieties that are classically fermented in the bottle.
    Wineries
    Praeclarus - Cantina San Paolo
    Eppan an der Weinstaße/Appiano sulla Strada del Vino, The South Tyrolean Wine Road
    Here the brute force of a bunker, there the elegance of a sparkling wine: the San Paolo Winery has brought together two apparent opposites, and it has been doing so since 1979. In that year, the first bottles of sparkling wine were filled and stored to mature in a bunker from World War Two. The result of that experiment is Praeclarus, which today is one of the calling cards of the San Paolo Winery.

    Two hundred winegrowing families belong to the cooperative. They tend 185 hectares (457 acres) of vineyards in a spectrum of elevations that ranges from 300 to 700 meters (900 to 2,300 feet). The Chardonnay grapes that make their way into Praeclarus grow above the village at an elevation of around 500 meters (1,600 feet).

    “This is the place where the grapevines find their optimal conditions,” explains Philipp Zublasing, winemaker at the San Paolo Winery. “On one hand, deep chalky soils; on the other hand, prominent temperature differentials between day and night which contribute to the special aroma of Praeclarus.”

    This sparkling wine is produced strictly according to the classic méthode champenoise, with the second fermentation taking place in the bottle. The maturation time on the fine yeast amounts to at least forty-eight months, which the Praeclarus spends in the bunker. The temperature there is at a constant 12 degrees Celsius (54 degrees Fahrenheit), which is therefore ideal for a maturing sparkling wine. And incidentally, visitors can be convinced twice over: with a visit to the winery along with an excursion into the sparkling wine bunker, and of course with a bubbly glass.
     
    Wineries
    Spornberg Mountain Winery
    Karneid/Cornedo all'Isarco, Dolomites Region Eggental

     On the sun-kissed slopes that range from the Renon all the way down to Bolzano, people have been growing grapes for centuries. So it comes as no surprise that the Messner family from Renon, too, hurled themselves into the adventure of wine growing. That is how the Spornberg Mountain Winery in Soprabolzano was established in 2016, a young estate winery in an old wine-growing region.

    The first thing that catches the eye is that the vines of the Spornberg Mountain Winery are grown in an exposed and airy location. Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Grigio are grown here, and there are a few strict policies in place that apply to both the vineyard and the cellar: work is done with consideration and a lot of it by hand.
    Moreover, the Messner family and their employees always bear the natural cycle of things in mind. In plain terms, this means that nature is given all the time and space it requires. Intervention only happens when there is no other way.
    Such a considerate way of working is also made possible by the location: the vineyards of the Spornberg Mountain Winery are located at an altitude of 860 meters on a sunny southern slope where the air and the sandy, loamy soil warm up quickly and offer the perfect conditions for the vines and grapes to thrive. At the same time, the location is airy; thanks to the wind, the grapes do not remain moist and fungi do not stand a chance.
    Nature has been good to the young Spornberg Mountain Winery in Soprabolzano, and so it is hardly surprising that everyone here is showing it the utmost respect.

     
    Wineries
    Ansitz Dornach Winery
    Salorno/Salurn, The South Tyrolean Wine Road
    “Organic” can be a marketing gimmick, but for Karoline and Patrick Uccelli of the Dornach estate in Salorno, it is a philosophy of life. From Karoline’s education as a biologist through their diet and the – of course! – biodynamic winegrowing up to an agreement that Patrick made with the animals in the woods.

    No, don’t worry: Patrick Uccelli is not a Dr. Doolittle, he doesn’t talk with the animals, but he knows about the significance of organic balance which from time to time can even endanger the financial element. “Our grapes seem to taste good to the deer,” Uccelli says, although he has not built any fences against the chewing, but rather, as he explains with a grin, he has struck a deal with the deer: “I won’t do anything to them if they keep out of the vineyards. They apparently understand this.”

    And Uccelli, who is both a winegrower and an oenologist, is accustomed to traversing new paths. “I gladly experiment with different vinification methods, with the fermentation in large and small barrels, with different lengths of aging periods,” he says. Along those lines, the goal always remains the same: the production of wines that are as natural as possible.

    And the production at the Dornach Estate is widely varied: the wines carry serial numbers on the label to underscore their uniqueness. Crispy wines with earthy, mineral-rich tones that they in fact draw from the soil with a particular composition: yellow and red loam mixed with iron oxide.
    Is that the reason why the grapes also taste good to the deer?
    Wineries
    Max Thurner - Perlhof
    Bolzano/Bozen, Bolzano/Bozen and environs
    Mentioned in documents for the first time in 1545, the Perlhof Estate Winery, Max Thurner has existed for almost 500 years but is known more for its innovations than for its long tradition: “Never stand still, onward and upward, be brave enough to try new things, that’s what keeps us going,” explains Max Thurner, who, together with his family, is responsible for the entire wine production process at the Perlhof in Bozen-Oberleitach/Costa di Sopra-Bolzano: from growing the grapes all the way to bottling the wine.

    The grapes for Max Thurner’s wines are grown in four different locations at altitudes ranging from 270 up to 550 meters above sea level on vineyards facing different directions, but all with excellent conditions. “The steep south-facing slopes around Bolzano/Bozen offer the perfect climate: masses of warm air rise from the Bolzano valley basin, while cooler streams of air come from the Eisacktal/Valle Isarco valley,” explains Thurner. In addition, the old vine stocks at the Perlhof grow on skeletal soil made up of quartz porphyry.

    Not only four different locations but also four different wines characterize the range of products offered by the Perlhof Estate Winery. Aside from Santa Maddalena and Sauvignon, two classic wines, there is also a rosé made from Merlot grapes and the “Milo,” a cuvée made from Merlot and Schiava (Vernatsch). As the Perlhof never wants to stand still, it is continuously growing its range of wines.
     
    Wineries
    Roverè della Luna - Kellerei Aichholz
    The South Tyrolean Wine Road
    A Lagrein from Roverè della Luna, which was supposed to be better than those of the surrounding villages, was mentioned by the travel writer Max Sittich von Wolkenstein as early as the seventeenth century. So the bar for the Cantina Sociale Roverè della Luna, the northernmost in Trentino, was therefore set high. For the 270 members of today, that is more of a motivation than a burden.

    Roverè della Luna is situated just south of the Chiusa di Salorno cleft on a limestone cone. Even though the Adige Valley has been predestined for winegrowing, the conditions here are rather rough. “Gravel and limestone don’t hold water very well,” says Carlo Alberto Gasperi, winemaker at the Cantina Roverè della Luna, “so the vines only grow here with difficulty.” But what is a challenge for grapevines and winegrowers is for him a stroke of luck: “Because of the slow growth, an especially fruity wine comes into existence,” the winemaker says.

    The Cantina Sociale Roverè della Luna was already founded as early as 1919, at that time with 24 winegrowers with great foresight. Today, the cooperative has 270 members who tend no fewer than 420 hectares of grape growing areas and, aside from the aforementioned literarily immortalized Roverè della Luna Lagrein, they also grow Teroldego, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Schiava, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, and Müller Thurgau.

    In all of the still and sparkling wines from the Cantina Roverè della Luna, the terroir and its properties can be tasted, having been finished in a modern, rational winery. With a view forward, but also back to the roots of the cooperative. As is fitting for wines for which a literary monument was already put up four hundred years ago.
    Wineries
    Winery WeinGut Seppi
    For generations, the Seppi family has had strong ties to wine growing—even stronger than usual in a village such as Caldaro, where wine plays an important role to begin with. These days, the family-owned Seppi Vineyards in Caldaro are run by Werner Seppi—supported by his family—, and have been for more than 20 years.
    In 2005, it was decided to venture away from the conventional ways and lead the vineyards down a new path. “Gradually our wish grew to remold the vineyards according to our personal, more individual ideas. We wanted to depart from well-trod paths and develop something special and sustainable,” says Werner Seppi. And so they switched to biodynamic agriculture—first in the vineyards and in 2016 in the wine cellar, too.
    This second milestone was born from the decision to take a portion of the grapes for the wine in their own cellars to create wines that reflected the special characteristic of the wine estate and its locations. They even go so far as to vinify the grapes from the different vineyards separately. “In Caldaro, we refer to small geographic units as ‘riegel’,” says Werner Seppi, “and we mature the grapes grown in those riegel units separately.”
    Consequently, wines from the Seppi Vineyards can be traced back to the smallest geographic unit. Gewürztraminer and Pinot Blanc, for example, are grown on the Panigl riegel; Sauvignon, on the Prey riegel; Schiava (Vernatsch), on the See riegel, and Cabernet Franc on the Feld riegel. In other words: they are taking the idea of terroir very seriously at Seppi Vineyards.
    Wineries
    Dolomytos
    Ritten/Renon, Bolzano/Bozen and environs
    In the 1990s, Rainer Zierock was something of a rock star among oenologists. He was an agronomist, a university professor, and a winegrowing consultant in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and France. But Zierock created what for him was the ideal, perfect estate winery in Alto Adige. In a manor from the fourteenth century, he founded the Dolomytos Estate Winery in Auna di Sotto on the Renon plateau.

    Along with Margret Hubmann, in the late 1990s he redid the entire estate, planting 150 different grape varieties and allowing himself to be guided with everything by Greek mythology. Thus the pentagon plays a prominent role for Zierock, his wines are produced according to the pentagram principle, and he also developed a tasting system on the basis of this geometric form.

    In addition, panta rhei is regarded as the leitmotif of the Dolomytos Estate winery in Auna di Sotto: everything is flowing, and specifically in the winery, as well, which is set up according to the principle of gravitation. “All work steps can be carried out using natural slopes without outside influences – all the way to bottling,” explains Norbert Marginter, who has continued to run the Dolomytos Estate Winery as the new proprietor following the ideas of the professor, who passed away in 2009.

    Three hectares of vineyards are tended as close to nature as possible, the grapes are harvested with a strict selection process, they are fermented with their own natural yeast, and they spend 10 to 14 days on the skins. After that, they mature for at least 24 months in cylinders made from French oak. “All of our wines are blends of Italian and Greek grape varieties,” Marginter explains. So it is not only with mythology that the Greeks made their mark at the Dolomytos Estate Winery.
    Wineries
    Befehlhof Winery
    Schlanders/Silandro, Vinschgau/Val Venosta
    Anyone who sees the steppe landscape on Monte Mezzodì in the Val Venosta does not think of grapes at all. And yet, at the Befehlhof in Vezzano, wine grapes have been grown since as early as 1370. Six centuries later, Oswald Schuster has the helm here and obligated by tradition, growing among other varieties a Val Venosta Fraueler.

    By the 1980s, Fraueler had broadly disappeared from the scene when Oswald and Magdalena Schuster decided to devote a portion of their 1.2 hectare vineyard to this typical Val Venosta grape. And furthermore: the Schusters are the only ones to make Fraueler as a single varietal wine. And with impressive results: “Jera”, the Fraueler from the Befehlhof in Vezzano, is described as “fruity and fresh, floral, sleek and elegant, with a prominent mineral-rich tone.”

    Aside from the original Val Venosta grape, also growing in the vineyard at an elevation of 710 meters are Sylvaner, Gewürztraminer, Kerner, Müller Thurgau, Pinot Noir, Zweigelt, and Riesling. The latter, which today is a widely disseminated wine in the Val Venosta, has Oswald Schuster to thank for its existence, since he was in fact the first one to have planted it here.

    And as adventurous as the Schusters are with their selection of grape varieties, that’s how innovative (and, at the same time, down-to-earth) they are in the winery. Thus they focus on spontaneous fermentation thanks to the naturally occurring wine yeasts. “As a result of this, the wine becomes more multifaceted, more complex, and more interesting,” says Schuster, who has even ventured to make a Val Venosta sparkling wine. He calls it “Sällent”, named after a mountain in Martello. The high point of production, so to speak.
    Wineries
    zu Tschötsch
    Kastelruth/Castelrotto, Dolomites Region Seiser Alm
    The tradition of winegrowing at the Tschötscherhof in Castelrotto has both a museum side and one that is most definitely still living. Thus not only is old agricultural equipment exhibited here, but their own wine is made, as well – both then and now with success.

    For over a century, grapes have demonstrably been grown at the Tschötscherhof in the Castelrotto district of San Osvaldo, with just the venerable grapevine in front of the farmhouse being over a hundred years old and thus living proof of the winegrowing tradition. Within that context, the farmhouse with its grape growing areas is situated at an elevation of 750 meters. “Thanks to the southwestern exposure of the slope and the especially mild climatic conditions, though, it is in fact possible to achieve outstanding grape quality,” explains the young grower Andreas Jaider.

    He is a trained winegrower and bears the responsibility for the wine pillar of the Tschötscherhof in Castelrotto. Under his aegis, their own wines are made at the estate for which Jaider has also won awards, including the white wines (Müller Thurgau, Sylvaner, Kerner, and Gewürztraminer) and the reds (Blauer Zweigelt and Pinot Noir).

    The fact that he is standing on the shoulders of his forefathers with what he does is made clear not least by the Agricultural Museum which the elder boss Michael Jaider set up around 15 years ago in the estate’s barn. Old equipment tells of the early life on the farms in and around Castelrotto. And thus of the winegrowing tradition of this landscape which is otherwise characterized by the Alps.
    Wineries
    Pitzner Winery & Suites
    Karneid/Cornedo all'Isarco, Dolomites Region Eggental
    The history of the Pitznerhof in Cardano is almost like the story of beating swords into plowshares. The name “Pitzner” is a corruption of “Büchsner”, referring to someone who makes shotguns who was active earlier at the farm. So for both pacifists and gourmands, that is good news, since at the Pitznerhof, they turned their back on tradition and made wine instead of weapons.

    The brothers Markus and Thomas Puff are responsible for the wine production at the impressively 700 year-old Pitznerhof in Cardano at the entrance to the Valle Isarco. Their farmhouse lies at an elevation of precisely 350 meters, but the three hectares of grape growing areas are on steep slopes with deep, sandy weathered porphyry soils. “We attempt to integrate the local conditions and the microclimate into the production process in the best possible way,” says Markus Puff.

    And in the winery, there is also the underlying principle of working with the grapes gently. Thus the overall picture comes together of production that is close to nature along the entire chain. “We try to fulfill our responsibility by stressing nature as little as possible,” Puff says.

    This approach also forms the cornerstone for the quality of the wines from the Pitznerhof in Cardano. The product line includes Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, Schiava, and Lagrein: potent, fine-structured white wines with pleasant freshness and a fine mineral-rich quality, but also spicy, pleasantly fruity, and lively reds.
    Wineries
    Pyramidis
    There is a very good reason why the wines of the Untermaurerhof estate in Santa Maddalena, Bolzano, carry the earth pyramids of Renon in their name and their logo. After all, this natural monument—the highest and probably most beautifully shaped earth pyramids in Europe—can be found in Soprabolzano, right above the Katzenbachgraben, which is also where the vineyards of the Untermaurerhof are located.
    The wine-growing area is centered around the steep and sunny terraces of Santa Maddalena in Bolzano. They are among the oldest wine-growing sites in the capital of Alto Adige—unsurprisingly so, seeing as they can offer everything vines and grapes love best: lots of light and sun, warm temperatures, and not to forget substantial temperature differences between day and night.
    In addition, there is the soil, and one does not have to be a geologist in order to understand its structure due to the earth pyramids: they consist of glacial moraine rocks and weather-beaten porphyry, and they can store heat like none other. “Low harvests are typical of these hillside sites. This requires careful selection and extremely careful processing of the grapes,” explains Wolfgang Hofer from the Pyramidis wine estate.
    Consequently, its wines are the result of careful selection and only come in limited editions. The range of varieties is small, too. It includes—and that should almost go without saying considering the location—a Santa Maddalena Classico as well as a flowery, fresh and aromatic Müller-Thurgau, an elegant and intense Pinot Noir Riserva, and a Pinot Blanc which wins over wine lovers with a fruity range of aromas and a well-structured body.
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